Goldilocks & The Three Bears & The Mayor of Porridgeton

By Tim Saunders

Healthy eating is vital these days and even the Three Bears acknowledge this when making their porridge. They throw out the sugar.
Goldilocks & The Three Bears & The Mayor of Porridgeton by The Panto Bus touring production company took place for just one performance at Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone on Thursday (April 18).
It is a challenge to entertain an audience for nearly two hours, especially a young one and the almost packed auditorium was kept entertained by some good acting, singing and dancing as well as scene changes, which took place in the dark. My three children enjoyed working out who was changing the scenery and what they were actually doing.
The enthusiasm of Goldilocks (Kate Chedburn) was infectious and she clearly loves what she does while the Mayor of Porridgeton (Rikki Stone) was a strong character as were the three bears including Mummy bear (Tami Stone). The part of Spooner (Bradley Bryant), the Mayor’s relation, sadly, felt surplus to requirements. A puppet who appeared every now and again made us chuckle but his jokes could have been stronger. ‘What do you call a bear with no teeth?’ he asked. ‘Gummy bear.’ Little laughter from the audience. The show could definitely have done with an injection of humour.
But what it lacked in hysterics was counter-balanced by a good standard of singing and dancing. My young son Henry (3), who was familiar with the story, was wide eyed throughout as were his sisters Harriett (8) and Heidi (6).
The padded out plot could have been done better. Looking round the audience, a woman in front of me couldn’t resist checking her mobile phone after a sly yawn, 40 minutes into the production. 
A nice touch at the interval and the end of the performance was that the children could meet some of the stars. At the end all the children including Henry, Heidi and Harriett all clambered onto the stage and Henry sang his little heart out, which was great to see. A lovely introduction to the theatre for all little people.
The show is touring theatres nationwide.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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